Ø Who are you?
Hi, we are Mark and Kate. Mark is an early retired Detective (Qld) and Kate was working in Project Management in the Mining Industry in remote WA. We met around 5 years ago in Antarctica and things continued to get more interesting from there!
Ø Where are you from/Where’s home?
We are Australian, both originally from the east coast but called the west coast home before relocating to the greater World.
Ø What type of traveller are you? Backpacker, full time traveller, luxury traveller?
We are full time travellers, actually we are global freeloaders, we are international house sitters.
Ø Where was the first trip you took?
First trip ever trip or first ever since becoming full time travellers? The first stop on our full time travelling gig was Casablanca Morocco. Our first trip together was Antarctica (for work). Kate’s first time O/S was New Zealand at about the age of 10. Marks first O/S trip was Vanuatu at around the age of 18. We have yet to sit down and count the countries we have visited between us since!
Ø Have you had any bad experiences whilst travelling?
Mark- Being followed by a tank being driven by a teenage soldier in the main street of Lima. Apparently you shouldn’t take photos of government buildings- Rookie mistake! Kate- Driving up a mountain in East Timor after a cyclone had gone through and washed most of the road away causing land slides (that wasn’t really a road in the first place) in a 4WD that was about as reliable as the bullet hole in the door. Mark & Kate- Any time you get sick in another country, especially those that don’t have good public conveniences (e.g third world- Anyone got toilet paper???)!!!!
Ø What is the worst place you’ve travelled to and why?
Probably to say “the worst” is a bit harsh because we generally do not have bad travel experiences but we would have to say Miami, Florida. Yes this much advertised and coveted beach side paradise, we just did not like the place. From the moment we landed at Homeland Security (now that was a pleasant experience, NOT), to the 2 hour wait to get into our accommodation after an overnight flight, to the waiter who ignored us, to the waiter who bothered us so much we started to wish him harm (that’s terrible!), to the $80 bill for a shitty burger, an even shittier kebab and a couple of beers; in short we did not like it. It was expensive, we had a bad experience with our accommodation, the food to us was terrible (although, we had just come from Europe), the service was mostly awful and sorry Miami we didn’t like you. Don’t take it personally!
Ø Where is your favourite place in the world?
Do you have to have just one? If there was one place to pick then it is Ireland, the home of Guinness, Guinness gives you strength and after 5 pints makes you very good looking. Ireland has the most stunning country and coastal scenery and you just can’t fault the people. Amazingly friendly and always funny.(See above story about the Irish woman and the camel)
Ø How do you fund your travels?
We are lucky that most of our travel is by way of house sitting so that saves us a huge amount of money in both accommodation and living expenses. We are also exploring small jobs that can be done on-line that offset some of our expenses. Every little bit helps!
Ø What is your most fond memory from your travels?
We would struggle to find just one, any travel is a fond memory even when things are not great you usually can laugh about it later. Well, I usually laugh at Mark later….
Ø What would you be doing if you weren’t travelling?
Still working and travelling in between, we did a lot of travel when we still had jobs, we just
switched the balance.
Ø Have you ever experiences any cultural faux pas?
Shoes on, shoes off. We never quite know what to do. Other than that, we hope not, we try very hard not to.
Ø What is your Favourite airline?
Any airline with legroom! We have quite a few preferred airlines and then the ones we will suffer because the price is so good. We recently travelled Qatar for the first time and were impressed.
Ø Where are you off to next?
Costa Rica & Nicaragua for a month in between house sits, then we are in the Greek Islands for nearly 3 months. Life’s tough!
Ø What is the name of your travel blog and why did you choose this name?
Vagrants Of The World – We chose this name because one of Mark’s colleagues accused him of becoming a vagrant of the world when he told him his plans to retire early and wander the world. Also it is essentially what we are, homeless with no means of income.
Ø When did you start blogging?
We are very much new bloggers, we only started earlier this year.
Ø Where did you start blogging?
We started completely on the run when we left Australia permanently on our way to Morocco. I think I put our first post up on the way to the airport. My god that seems forever ago, especially in “Blog Time”
Ø Why did you start a Travel blog?
It was a hair brained scheme Kate came up with around the same time she said “lets get rid of everything and become international house sitters, we leave in a month!” There should be a Tally Ho! in there somewhere.
Ø What are you tips for new Travel Bloggers?
The same advice everyone gives – Keep at it, give yourself time to find your groove and its a lot more hard work than you first imagine. Can you have a love hate relationship with your blog? I think so! Whats the worst that can happen; you have a great travel journal to look back on.
Ø Do you wish you did differently when you started out?
We are still finding those things out, there are so many. Unless you are already a computer geek get professional help setting up your web site is one. Its hard learning how to set up a web site, finding your blog groove, writing posts, spreading yourself across social media (thats a full time job in itself) and travel at the same time. The other is join as many travel blogging groups on FB etc early on, they are a wealth of information that we are only just tapping into and there are really great, helpful bloggers out there.
Ø What has been your most successful blog post and what was it about?
Its crazy, a post we never expected to get much interest was about trying to buy a ferry ticket to get to one of our house sitting assignments in the Caribbean. It was just a tongue in cheek observational post about the debacle of trying to get on this 1 hr ferry transfer that turned into a social media frenzy and started some very heated debate. We didn’t realise that this ferry service had been the topic of hot debate, political toing and froing and the cause of some long standing racial rhetoric between Puerto Ricans & Americans.We got a huge amount of traffic from the U.S., Puerto Rico and all over the Caribbean. You never know when you’re going to strike a chord (or hit a nerve!) We kept a low profile on the island for a few weeks.
Ø What do you do to help make your articles successful?
We are full time house sitters so can spend as long as 6 months living in a particular community. This gives us the opportunity to blog from a local perspective. We try to share the local experiences you may miss or not have time to indulge in on a tourist trip i.e. Festivals, religious celebrations, popular sporting events (that may not always be acceptable outside of that culture!). To discover the small and interesting things about a culture which you can only find out from living day to day life. Our aim is to also showcase those little pockets of a country you may not have heard of, or never thought to go because they don’t feature on all those “Top Ten Places To See” lists. Obviously we still blog about the travels we do in between house sits but hope that our take on being honorary locals in various countries and communities will bring something new and inspiring to the travel blogosphere.
Ø What social media platform is the most helpful for you and why?
Ahhh, Social media! We are currently across around 13 different social media platforms, it’s exhausting. For us it changes weekly but probably Twitter is the most useful for driving traffic. People hash tag everything on all social media now but I think Twitter is still the only platform where it really works well at finding an audience. Twitter can also have a much greater reach in a very short period with the right tweet or hash tag.
Ø Have you worked with any “big name” sponsors, if not who would be your dream to work with?
No not yet, we are currently working on our first pitch for our trip to Nicaragua. So for us any sponsors would be great right now!
Ø Do you have any tips for new bloggers who want to work with sponsors?
Its a little scary and a tad intimidating putting it all together for the first time. Get as much information and help from the travel blogging groups and networks. There is so much help and information out there and they make you realise everyone has to start somewhere.
Ø Which travel bloggers do you admire?
There are so many good bloggers out there and so many really beautiful travel blogs ( yes, we have blog envy often!) Anyone who has stuck with it for a long time has to be admired because other than having really good content, consistency is the art. Being house sitters though we quite enjoy looking at Hektic Travels blog. They have been at it for a long time and they put together some really good posts.
Ø Do you have any advice or tips for aspiring travellers?
Just go. Do what ever it takes and go. Anthony Bourdain pretty much nails it, even though it is aimed at the young, it applies to all ages-
“If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go”- Anthony Bourdain
Ø What is your Travel Motto:
Pack light, then halve it….Where are we going next?……
Website url: http://www.vagrantsoftheworld.com
Google+ profile: https://www.google.com/+Vagrantsoftheworld